Eight Kosovars jailed after foiled attack on Israeli football team

(L/R): Kenan Plakaj, Arton Ahmeti and Leutrim Musliu are among eight Kosovars jailed for planning to carry out a terrorist attack on the Israeli football team and fans in Albania where a qualifying match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, against the national team, was due to take place. (AFP)
Updated 18 May 2018
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Eight Kosovars jailed after foiled attack on Israeli football team

  • The plan was thwarted when Kosovo police got wind of the plot and tipped off Albanian authorities who moved the game from a stadium in Shkoder, near the border with Kosovo, to a town closer to the Albanian capital, Tirana.
  • The prosecution said the group had planned to attack the Israeli team with explosives and automatic rifles.

PRISTINA, Kosovo: A Kosovo court has sentenced nine Kosovar Albanians, eight to jail, for planning a foiled attack against the Israeli football team during a 2016 qualifying World Cup match in neighboring Albania.
Pristina court Judge Hamdi Ibrahimi on Friday sentenced the leader of the group, Visar Ibishi, to 10 years in jail. Seven others got between 1-1/2 to 6 years imprisonment. One was slapped with a €2,500 ($2,950) fine.
The prosecution said the group had planned to attack the Israeli team with explosives and automatic rifles. Police found explosive devices, weapons, electronic equipment and extremist literature at their homes.
The plan was thwarted when Kosovo police got wind of the plot and tipped off Albanian authorities who moved the game from a stadium in Shkoder, near the border with Kosovo, to a town closer to the Albanian capital, Tirana.
The prosecution said some of the defendants received orders to carry out an attack from Lavdrim Muhaxheri, a prominent Daesh member from Kosovo and the self-declared “commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq.”
Muhaxheri was killed in Syria, police and family members say. Kosovo authorities say about 180 citizens are still active with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law introducing jail sentences of up to 15 years for anyone found guilty of fighting in wars abroad. 


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